If you are a fan of “The Beatles”, then the odds are very much in your favor that you are going to like this movie. On the other hand, if you are any sort of artist (musician, writer, painter, illustrator, etc.) then you will not only like this movie, but may just connect with it on a very personal level. 
“Yesterday” centres around the life of a struggling singer-songwriter born in England named Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) whose singing career consists of playing small venues attended by little more than his core group of friends and a few uninterested. 
Jack is frustrated by his lack of success in the music industry, but is continuously told not to give up by his manager, and childhood friend Ellie (Lily James). Jack is appreciative of her encouragement, but after a disappointing performance at a music festival he decides his dreams are never going to come true and tells Ellie he is quitting. 
While riding home on his bike later that night, he gets hit by a bus during a mysterious 12 second global blackout. He wakes up in a hospital with a visit from Ellie. Jack is confused when she doesn’t get a joke he makes using a reference to a Beatles song “When I’m 64”. 
Later, after getting out of the hospital, his friends surprise him with a new guitar. When he plays them the song “Yesterday”, they all love it, but they think it’s an original song that Jack wrote. When he explains that it’s a song by The Beatles, they all claim to have never heard of the band. 
While first thought to be an elaborate joke, an extensive Google search and the absence of all Beatles albums from his record collection lead him to the mind-bending conclusion that he is in a world where they never existed and he is the only one who remembers them (along with other things like Coke, cigarettes, the band Oasis and Harry Potter). 
While Jack struggles with the ethics of it all, he decides to use his knowledge of Beatles songs for the benefit of his own career. Working hard to remember the lyrics of as many songs as he can, Jack starts performing again and records an album with an indie label. He gives the CDs away to customers at the store where he works and is asked to be a gueston a local talk show. This draws the attention of Ed Sheeran (playing himself) who asks Jack to be a last-minute replacement as an opening act for a concert in Moscow. 
After wowing the crowd with a rendition of “Back in the USSR”, he goes viral on social media leading to a meteoric rise. But as his fame increases, so does his guilt for taking credit for songs that are not his own. Plus, his success is taking him away from Ellie, which becomes more painful when they both realize how much they love each other. 
It goes without saying that this movie is a giant love note to The Beatles and their music. Die hard Beatle-maniacs will enjoy it for the soundtrack. As for me, I connected with this movie in a very personal way as an artistic. I’ve spent years struggling to find my audience as an independent children’s author, just as the character Jack has struggled as a singer. At one point in the middle of the film, I wondered what I would do if I found myself in a similar situation. Like if I was the only person who remembered the Harry Potter books (imagine my surprise when they worked in one last joke at the end about those books not existing in the new reality either). 
Every struggling artist dreams of reaching that astronomical level of success, be it a hit song, best-selling book, or a blockbuster movie. This film brilliantly captures the hollow feeling an artist can feel for receiving grand accolades from stealing someone else’s artistic property. So while the target audience for this movie was most obviously centred around Beatles fans, there is a huge community of artists who may find an even deeper meaning in it. However, I have doubts that the masses will connect with it as personally as I did. 
The casting of the relative unknown Himesh Patel in the role of Jack was the perfect choice. His performance was the most enjoyable part of the movie for me, with the soundtrack being a close second. Every scene where he conveys Jack feeling like a fraud, or struggling with immense guilt has an air of absolute realism. The casting of Lily James and Kate McKinnon (playing his manager) added some familiar faces without overshadowing the story with too much star power. The addition of Ed Sheeran was also an inspired bit of comedy. Admittedly, the whole concept of being transported to an alternate reality is a little far-fetched, but the story is so well written that you don’t really care that the reason why or how it happened is never explained. 
Despite the Sci-fi element, at the heart of this film, it’s a romantic comedy. The concept of a man and woman who have been friends since childhood realizing they love each other is obviously an old, overused plot, but because the fact that story is so atypical keeps it from being a Rom-Com cliché. 
I was surprised that “Yesterday” was so overlooked during awards season. While I’m traditionally more of a fan of the big blockbuster movies, I enjoyed this film very much.It’s very watchable, never drags and holds your interest throughout. It’s one of those movies you want to see again and again.

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